• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2017
  • Duration:

    4 years part-time

  • Attendance:

    2-3 evenings a week

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

This programme combines the study of a modern language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese or Spanish) with development of journalistic skills relevant to a wide range of professional contexts.

Not only will you become highly competent in your chosen language but you will also gain advanced knowledge of the cultures and societies of the countries in which the language is spoken. The journalism modules are taught by industry professionals with experience not only in how to write for different media and audiences, but also in how the industry works. By the end of the programme you will have developed high-level journalistic skills, and an understanding of the cultural, political and industrial contexts of journalism.

How to apply

You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.

Please state clearly on your application which language you wish to study.

Admission is based on a written test, a language entry test (except for complete beginners) and you may be asked to attend an interview.

Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

Application deadlines and interviews

Interviews are arranged throughout the year.

Online application

Language and/with Journalism (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish)(BA): 4-year, part-time (Part-time)

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
  • Entry requirements are flexible and you can join the degree at various levels of competence in your chosen language.
  • Our School of Arts is in the top 5 in the country. Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, making it an outstanding multidisciplinary department.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Course structure

You complete the equivalent of 12 full (30-credit) modules, normally taking 6 journalism modules and 6 culture and language modules. Depending on entry level, a maximum of 3 of these will be from one of the languages on offer, forming a language pathway.

Your programme will be designed to suit your interests and your language capability, which can be at any level from beginner to native speaker proficiency. This sample programme - language pathway C - will help give you a better idea of the structure you would be following, but please bear in mind that other languages and pathways are available.

Year 1

Spanish 2

Studying the Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Native American Worlds

Introduction to Journalism Practice

Year 2

Spanish 3

Power and Control in Spanish Golden Age Art

Journalism: Interview Skills and Feature Writing

Year 3

Spanish 4

Survey of 20th Century Spanish Art and Film

Globalisation and Media Cultures

Year 4

Spanish 5

Exile and Nation in Twentieth-Century Spain


Indicative journalism option modules

Indicative comparative culture option modules

Indicative French option modules

Indicative German option modules

Indicative Japanese option modules

Indicative Portuguese and Spanish option modules

Please note that not all modules are available every year; the list above is indicative.

Degree classification

You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules in the course of your study.

If you enter the language pathway at complete beginner or lower intermediate level, the degree awarded will reflect this (e.g. BA Journalism and Spanish).

For entry levels from upper intermediate to proficiency, the degree awarded will reflect this (e.g. BA Spanish and Journalism).

Entry requirements

We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

If you wish to study French, German, Japanese or Spanish, this programme is suitable for applicants at language entry levels from GCSE-level/A2 (CEFR) to proficiency, including native speaker level. If you wish to study Portuguese, you must have at least A-level/B2 (CEFR) competence.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


Part-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa

Payment and Fees Discounts

Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost – enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

Fees discount: Birkbeck offers a generous package of fees reductions and cash bursaries for new undergraduates and Certificate of Higher Education students. Also, if you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

Funding and Financial Support

With a student loan, you will pay nothing upfront: find out about loans, cash bursaries and fee reductions and check if you are eligible.

Careers and employability

Graduates can pursue careers in media and cultural institutions, journalism, public relations or professional communications. This degree may also be useful in becoming a magazine/newspaper journalist, public relations officer or press sub-editor.

Find out more about these professions.

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Teaching and assessment


A combination of lectures, seminars, small-group work, tutorials and discussion groups as well as practical creative workshops, media-related tours and guest lectures.


Language modules are usually assessed by coursework, examinations and sometimes in-class tests and/or presentations. Journalism modules are assessed by demonstration of practical skills such as layout and design, as well as essays, and occasionally writing exercises, audio-visual presentations, mind maps, conceptual representations and digital media diaries.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art.

Further study opportunities

We offer a range of related Master's degrees, including our MA Comparative Literature (with French and German pathways), MA Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cultural Studies and MA Film, Television and Screen Media.

Not ready to do a degree?

We can support you to get on to the undergraduate course that’s right for you.

If you are not ready to study an undergraduate degree, check out our Certificates of Higher Education and short courses for another way into study.

Key Information Set